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YouTube - Lenovo DesignYourOwnSpaceLab experiment contest

Discussion in 'Science & Technology' started by GoodGame, Oct 11, 2011.

  1. GoodGame

    GoodGame Red, White, & Blue, baby!

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    This was news to me, maybe not to you:


    Link to video.


    Youtube wants viewers to design experiments for the ISS, and will pay for the best one to be performed on the ISS and live streamed.


    Pretty cool huh?


    Team Civfanatics, anyone?
     
  2. peter grimes

    peter grimes ... Retired Moderator

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    I only heard about this yesterday - there was a link on the google search page. I rarely click on those, but I clicked on this one.

    If there's a CivFanatics Team I'll participate :hammer:
     
  3. GoodGame

    GoodGame Red, White, & Blue, baby!

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    I can't think of one is my problem. I find it funny that they suggested protein folding experiments.

    It already turned out that crystals don't seed better in zero G, which was a set-back for people who wanted to X-ray crystallography everything that wouldn't crystalize on Earth. I'm pretty sure that protein folding is more complicated than the art of making crystals for crystallography, and not particularly determined by gravity.

    I'd suggest something about nature of gravity, but I'm the wrong person to design that experiment.

    Maybe grow a tree in space?
    http://www.asc-csa.gc.ca/eng/missions/sts-129/apex.asp
     
  4. uppi

    uppi Deity

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    A good experiment in space should exploit the lack of gravity and investigate effects on timescales much longer than a minute, so you cannot do it with a parabola flight or a free fall tower.

    So biological processes are a good idea, but much of that has been studied already.
     
  5. GoodGame

    GoodGame Red, White, & Blue, baby!

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    Macro biological processes would be interesting, but the ones I'd be interested in, molecule kinetics, would probably not be strongly affected.


    I think the most useful ones would be to try emulate what terraforming a hostile world would be like. Not just the non-Earth gravities and not just zero gravity (degrees of artificial gravity), but also the more direct exposure to sunlight, and different atmospheres. A space lab might make a nice test-bed for testing engineered organisms ability to flourish and form ecologies in non-Earth environments, which might pave the way for future terraforming projects.
     
  6. peter grimes

    peter grimes ... Retired Moderator

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    I was thinking along the same lines, uppi. But isn't there more intense radiation up there as well?

    Biological angles popped into my head first, specifically stuff about slime molds and funghi. Not being at all familiar with what's already been done I've been waiting to hear other peoples' ideas.

    EDIT:
    I wonder if the experiment has to be confined to the inside of the ISS.
     
  7. uppi

    uppi Deity

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    The radiation is more intense up there, but I think the ISS is low enough to be lower than the van-Allen belt. So it lacks the atmospheric shielding but still has the magnetic shielding of the earth and the radiation is not as bad as in interplanetary space.

    I would think the experiment is confined to the ISS because doing anything outside is quite complicated.
     
  8. El_Machinae

    El_Machinae Colour vision since 2018 Retired Moderator

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    According to the interview I heard with the author for A Case for Mars, the ISS receives half of the radiation (in units of time) that an interplanetary ship would receive. His stated reason was that the Earth was an effective shield, just due to its mass, and so the radiation only came from the space-side of the platform.
     

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